A Comprehensive Study of Massive MIMO Antenna Arrays in the Next Generation of Communication Networks
(*) Corresponding author
The need of a capacity expansion becomes an inevitable factor concerning the increasing of mobile data applications and the unlimited expectation of the fifth generation of communication. Currently, massive Multiple Input Multiple Output (MIMO) technique is the main part of the continuous researches and it has become the major key for the technologies of modern cellular communications not only because it offers very high system throughput but also it improves the energy efficiency in multi-user scenarios. One of the first Base Stations (BSs) was implemented in 2018 for the chain of sixty four digital transceivers. Other BS deployed in many countries, designed by many companies, theoretically verified by many researches and published in many papers, and designed smartphones for working on 3G, 4G, and 5G technologies. Within a few years, designing a massive MIMO antenna array with digital transmitters and receivers will have a master streaming characteristic at both centimeter wave (sub of 6GHz) and millimeter wave (mm wave) frequencies. Recently, diverse design challenges of these arrays have appeared and characterized by using huge number of antennas in the vicinity, integrating them with Radio Frequency (RF) frontends, surpassing the hardware restrictions, and resolving the beamforming techniques. To highlight on these developments, the present paper concentrates on the evolution and growth of the existing massive MIMO array antenna which are designed, implanted, and measured indoors or outdoors for wireless communication systems in both BSs and smartphones. The paper is also expanded to explain the antenna configuration and its integration with beamforming techniques which has a great impact on reducing the cost and the energy consumption matched with the energy-saving design vision of 5G. Some of the challenges that have faced the design and the proposed solutions are also discussed in this paper. In addition, massive MIMO antenna array implemented in some countries around the world are discussed and future ideas to support the improvements in the antenna array communication networks are highlighted.
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